First, let me apologize for not getting to this earlier. The New York Times reported the story on Tuesday. And Stephen Miller drew my attention to it that very day. I had meant to blog about it on Wednesday, but a friend from out of town invited me to join him at Disneyland that afternoon. The following day (yesterday), I was preoccupied with determining the reasons for the dragon’s attack on Nah-nathas. (And for the better part of today, I was tweaking the now-presentable Chapter Six to better set up that attack.)
Okay, now the issue. One-time gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn is spearheading a new coalition which, as the Times reports,
. . . plans to issue “A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage,” a tract renouncing the culture war that he was once part of, in favor of a different pro-marriage agenda. The proposed conversation will try to bring together gay men and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with heterosexuals who want to do the same.
Miller links the group’s mission statement indicating that the group wants to begin a
. . . conversation that brings together gays and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same. The new conversation does not presuppose or require agreement on gay marriage, but it does ask a new question. The current question is, Should gays marry? The new question is, Who among us, gay or straight, wants to strengthen marriage?
Emphasis added. It’s about time. It seems that many advocates of gay marriage focus on what they deem the “right to marry” (but mean the privilege of state recognition) instead of the meaning of the institution. By proposing to strengthen marriage, those in this new coalition understand that the institution is worthy of preservation and in need of strengthening.
Too often, gay marriage advocates tell us that marriage is declining, so why not include gays? They should instead, as Jonathan Rauch has done, use their movement to secure state recognition of marriage to remind us of the institution’s importance.
Given the group’s roster, it seems pretty clear that its leaders want to have a conversation about the importance of marriage. A welcome move.
Let us hope this group comes to dominate the debate.